Popular Cointreau Drinks

Reviewed by Mixologist and BarSmarts Graduate Karen Frazier
cosmo with cointreau

Cointreau is a top brand of triple sec (orange liqueur) that's prized for its orange flavor. While you can sip Cointreau on its own, it's also used in a number of popular cocktails you've probably already heard of. If you're feeling adventurous, work your way through these drinks and decide which popular Cointreau cocktails are your favorite.

1. The Cosmopolitan

According to TheRichest, the cosmopolitan comes in at number one on their list of the most popular cocktails in the world, and they list Cointreau as an essential ingredient. If you love a little tart cranberry flavor mixed with orange, give this drink a try.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces citron vodka
  • ½ ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • ½ ounce freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • Crushed ice

Instructions

  1. Combine all four ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake.
  2. Strain the contents into a cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of lemon if you like.

2. The Sidecar

Huffington Post says the sidecar is likely on every bartender's list of favorite cocktails. If you're partial to brandy, try this cocktail that has proven itself a classic decade after decade.

Sidecar cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Cognac or Armagnac
  • ¾ ounce Cointreau
  • ¾ ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • A few ice cubes
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a cocktail glass.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the Cognac or Armagnac, Cointreau, and lemon juice.
  3. Add ice and shake.
  4. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon peel.

3. The Lemon Drop

Serious Eats notes that the lemon drop was one of the most popular cocktails of the in the 20th century. With an overwhelmingly positive user rating at Drinks Mixer, the combination of vodka, Cointreau and lemon still proves to be popular in the 21st century.

Lemon drop martini

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon wedge
  • Sugar for rimming a cocktail glass
  • 2½ ounces vodka
  • ½ ounce Cointreau
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Run the lemon wedge around the outside rim of a chilled cocktail glass. Roll the glass in the sugar to rim.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, Cointreau, and lemon juice.
  3. Add ice and shake.
  4. Strain into the prepared cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with a lemon peel.

4. The Long Island Iced Tea

The Long Island Iced Tea makes Barmano's most popular cocktails list where users give the drink a five out of five cocktail glass rating. This drink goes down smoothly, but take care; it's deceptively strong. Have just one and sip it slowly.

Long Island iced tea

Ingredients

  • ½ ounce vodka
  • ½ ounce tequila
  • ½ ounce London dry gin
  • ½ ounce light rum
  • ½ ounce Cointreau
  • ½ ounce freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 barspoon simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Cola, chilled
  • Slice of lemon

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, tequila, gin, rum, Cointreau, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  2. Add ice and shake.
  3. Pour into a highball glass filled with ice.
  4. Top off the glass with cola and garnish with a slice of lemon.

5. The Margarita

The Nibble claims the margarita is the most popular cocktail in the United States, and it rates a solid five out of five from users on Barmano's most popular cocktails list. Tequila is the backbone of this drink, but Cointreau and lime are essential for creating its signature flavor.

Margarita on a table

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of lime
  • Coarse salt for rimming
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • ¾ ounce Cointreau
  • ¾ ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • Crushed ice

Instructions

  1. Rub one slice of lime around the rim of a margarita glass to moisten it, and then dip it in the salt. Set the glass in the freezer to chill while you prepare the cocktail.
  2. Combine the tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice with the ice in a shaker and shake.
  3. Strain the contents into the chilled glass and garnish with the remaining lime slice.

6. The Mai Tai

With the tiki bar revival, tropical cocktails like the Mai Tai are definitely back in style. This drink comes in at number three on Drinknation's top 100 cocktails list and is definitely worth trying if you're a fan of rum drinks.

Mai tai cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces aged rum
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • ½ ounce grenadine
  • 1 teaspoon orgeat syrup
  • 1 ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Pineapple and other citrus fruit slices for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine the rum, Cointreau, grenadine, orgeat, and lime juice in shaker with the ice and shake.
  2. Strain the drink into a chilled hurricane glass or tiki glass and garnish with fruit.

7. The Singapore Sling

Although the original recipe for the Singapore sling was lost decades ago, this cocktail is still famous and popular around the world. Bartenders have tried to recreate the original recipe as best as they can based on memories of the cocktail's flavor, so you might encounter slightly different recipes in different establishments.

Singapore sling

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces pineapple juice
  • 1½ ounces gin
  • ½ ounce Cherry Heering or cherry brandy
  • ¼ ounce Benedictine
  • ¼ ounce Cointreau
  • ¼ ounce freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Crushed ice
  • Pineapple wedge and a cherry

Instructions

  1. Add all the liquid ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake.
  2. Strain the drink into a chilled Collins or highball glass, and garnish with a pick of pineapple and cherry.

8. Sangria

Sangria is a festive wine punch that's a popular staple at many Spanish restaurants, and it makes a wonderful party beverage that's made by the pitcher to serve at warm weather gatherings. It's also quite versatile since you can make it with red or white wine and a variety of fruits. This recipe serves about four people.

Pouring a pitcher of sangria

Ingredients

  • 1 apple, cored and sliced with the peel on
  • 1 orange, sliced with the peel on
  • 1 lemon, sliced with the peel on
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of red wine (Rioja is recommended.)
  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar, optional
  • 2 ounces Cointreau
  • 2 ounces brandy
  • About 12 ounces chilled club soda

Instructions

  1. Prepare the fruit as directed above.
  2. Pour the wine, Cointreau, and brandy into a large glass pitcher and stir in the sugar if you choose to use it. Refrigerate for at least four hours.
  3. Add the soda and fruit.

Mixers for Cointreau

If you like to mix up your own drinks, then try some of these popular Cointreau mixers.

  • Citrus juices
  • Coffee
  • Hot chocolate
  • Apple cider (cold or warm)
  • Sour mix and club soda
  • Amaretto
  • Dry sparkling wine

Put Your Cointreau to Good Use

If you purchased Cointreau just to make a specific drink, there's no worry about getting tired of it now. You have plenty of popular cocktail options to try out, but don't stop there. You can use Cointreau in nearly any recipe that calls for triple sec, so experiment a little and decide what's popular with you.

Popular Cointreau Drinks